Timing is Everything – Esther

There are those in the Bible that were right on time, others went ahead of God’s appointed timing, and then there was One, born in the fullness of time. Over the next week or so, we will look at what it means, what it takes, and how things turn out when we choose to follow God’s timing.

Today we will look at Esther, a representative of those who listened to God and walked in step with his plan(s) for their life.

We usually hear about Esther the queen, but before she was queen, she was an orphan being raised by her cousin Mordecai. And it was Mordecai that delivered those fateful words that are associated with Esther’s story – “And who knows but that you have come to royal position for such a time as this?” (Esther 4:14 NIV, italics added). I believe these words rang in Esther’s ears as her call to action, and did she ever take action. The remaining verses of chapter 4, in the book of Esther, show her request for a time of fasting among her people, as preparation for the risky step she would have to take, in hopes of securing their safety. That risky step involved approaching her husband, King Ahasuerus, unannounced – a deed punishable by death. Under girded by her people’s support, Mordecai’s words of exhortation, and her conviction that she couldn’t live lavishly while her people faced genocide, Esther made her move.

Esther’s words – “…if I perish, I perish.” gives me assurance that she believed this was God’s timing for her to act. In her words you don’t see an assurance that everything will work out in her favor, but you do see the character that it takes to step out in God’s timing and leave the results to Him.

I’ll let you read how it all turns out if you don’t already know.

Where do you see yourself in Esther’s story?

When has God put you in a position at just the right time?

How have things worked out when you stepped out in what you believed to be God’s timing – High stakes, smooth sailing, or something else?

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4 responses to “Timing is Everything – Esther

  1. Images that come to my mind with timing in our culture are sports teams and theatre troupes. Timing is critical in both of these “dramas”, which are not only carrying out the script for that performance but the larger script in the game or play (interesting parallel words).

    For instance, we attended the local county high school football rivalry game recently. Many plays did not go well because the teams’ timing was off. Quarterbacks were sacked or defense men missed their tackles. However, timing was not just the plan of the play but the team members’ ability to recover a miss timed play. In one beautiful display of this, the pass rushers broke through the line, but the quarterback found a receiver open in a place not planned. He got the pass off just in time to be caught, the receiver turned just in time to throw off the tackler, jump over him, and tumble several steps in for a touchdown.

    In parallel fashion, we attended the theatre several times recently. Timing of lines is critical to delivering speeches, exchanging expressions between performers, etc. in order to convey the meaning of the script. In most cases, the cast performed precisely. However, on one occasion, an actor, portraying an manipulative advisor to the king stumbled on his line. In this theatre, the performances are conducted with general lighting and the actors interact with the audience frequently. Upon missing his line, this actor walked over to the audience and asked, “What was I saying?”, looked for advice (the irony of the advisor needing advice), got a good laugh while he recovered his line, then proceeded with his part.

    As you have suggested, God may have a script that includes certain timing. We may pick up on this and carry out the play in time, or we may have to improvise until we recover our part.

  2. Wow, thanks. I really appreciate the way you made the comparison between a play and the play in a football game. In both everyone needs to be in the right place at the right time, “knowing the play” that is being called and being prepared to respond – either with exactness or improvisation. Their are those who fear improvisation and so opt to do nothing if they can’t get things exactly right.
    Now Esther and Abraham did not do everything right, but they were willing to take risks for the sake of the biggest game – life. And ultimately their actions impacted the lives of future generations. Then Jesus, although perfect in his execution, chose imperfect people who were willing to take a step of faith, trusting that he would be there to help them recover if they flubbed their lines or completely dropped the ball.

  3. Pingback: For Such a Time as This « Christianity 201

  4. Pingback: Getting the Most out of The Christian Blogosphere « Thinking Out Loud

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